In this article I shall address the standing of intentionalist theories of interpretation through Richard Rorty’s critique. Rorty’s criticism arises from the position literature holds in the post metaphysical, liberal culture Rorty sketches As a counterbalance to Rorty’s critique, I shall develop an intentionalist theory of interpretation drawing on Donald Davidson’s late philosophy of language and his view of literary interpretation that have sadly not been taken into proper consideration in the on-going debate in analytic aesthetics on the role of authorial intentions in interpretation. The prospects of Davidson’s intentionalism for meeting Rorty’s criticism are related to the position of imagination in the Davidsonian approach. By indicating the connections between the position of imagination in Davidson’s views and how it has in turn been approached in contemporary pragmatist-inspired moral philosophy, I shall argue that an intentionalist theory is, after all, able to meet those challenges that Rorty sees literature and literary theory facing in his post metaphysical culture.

Included in

Aesthetics Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.